Update: the site has been taken down. I like to think it was a result of my post and the other people they were scraping standing up for themselves.

Unfortunately, the site yourcreditlive . com (I’m not giving them the benefit of a linkback) has been scraping my content and refuses to take it down because it’s CC licensed. Even had the cahones to list me as a “contributor” (but made sure to include the licensing link).

Therefore, I’m removing the licensing so that I can legally get bottom-feeders to stop using my content. I changed the footer text to read:

This content may only be reproduced by legitimate bloggers. I reserve all rights to decide who is a legitimate blogger. Legitimate bloggers may include pf bloggers, mom bloggers, personal bloggers, etc. You don’t have to contact me for permission, but I reserve the right to report all scraper sites to Google and possibly serve them a DMCA notice.

I’m not judging legitimate bloggers by status or post frequency or anything. Just by whether or not you’re really a blogger or you’re a spammer/scraper/scammer pretending to be a blogger.

I licensed it in the first place because I don’t mind legitimate blogs using excerpts. I don’t even mind them using large excerpts. But I do mind scrapers.

Scrapers make their money when people search for keywords and end up at your scraped post. They probably have Google ads so they can make some money from it. Also, trackbacks they leave on your site may assist them in building page rank and seeming more respectable.

If you believe a site is stealing your content, there are several things you can do.

First, you can report them to Google if they have Google ads. Click the “ads by Google” section and use the reporting option near the bottom of the page the page. Link to what they’re reproducing and the original material on your site. Explain that they’re trying to make Adsense money off of stolen material. Remind them that people visiting the site may click the ads simply as a means of escape once they realize that this site offers no valuable content.

Second, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act should protect your material. You can notify the hosting company about violations. Here’s a sample notice you can use:

Sender Information:
<< Your name >>
<< Your blog name>>
<< Your email address >>

Recipient Information:
<<Name and address of hosting/registrar legal dept>>

Sent via: Fax to <<Fax Number>>
DMCA Notice of Copyright Infringement
Re: [<<URL of blog making the infrigement>>]

Dear <<Name or hosting company>>

I, <<Your Name>>, owner of <<Your Blog>>, certify under penalty of perjury, that I am an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner of certain intellectual property rights.

I have a good faith belief that the items or materials listed below are not authorized by law for use by the above named domain name owner or their agents and therefore infringes the copyright owner’s rights. I hereby demand that you act expeditiously to remove or disable access to the material or items claimed to be infringing.

My contact information is as follows:

<<Your contact info, name, address, phone, etc.>>

Allegedly Infringing items or materials:

<<links to your site’s articles and their site’s copies>>

The DMCA may not protect what you’ve got a creative commons license on, unfortunately.

So there you have it. I’m a bit annoyed. If people have the brains to scrape, they have the brains to write a legitimate blog. But they’re choosing to be the bottom-feeders of the blogosphere. Oh well. I hope you don’t have to deal much with scrapers, but they’re an unfortunate fact of life. If you run into particularly nasty one (“contributer” are you kidding me?”) then you may have cause to use this. Though they refused to take it down before I removed the licensing, they took it down after I changed it and wrote back “take it down or else.”

{ 3 trackbacks }

Weekly Roundup - Evil Scraper Edition.
February 24, 2008 at 11:25 am
My Brush with Blog Scraping « 404 Tech Support
October 8, 2008 at 3:53 pm
404 Tech Support » Blog Archive » My Brush with Blog Scraping
October 18, 2008 at 9:06 am

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

CatherineL February 22, 2008 at 3:17 am

Hi Mrs M – That is bad news. I hate those scraper sites. The trouble is, most can get away with posting excerpts of other people’s posts anyway, so long as they reference and link to the site properly.

So, I’m wondering if it would be better not to enable people to use your work under CC, then they can’t actually copy a whole post?

Mind you, those who plagiarize would probably do it regardless.

Hilda February 22, 2008 at 3:27 am

Good for you for standing your ground! I know it’s not funny but the “contributer” cracks me up.

Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife February 22, 2008 at 8:03 am

Well I am just dumbfounded…so that is what you call it? I wondered when Technorati found one of my entire posts….translated into German no less…what the h*ll was going on! Now I know…thanks.

fathersez February 22, 2008 at 9:33 am

I have been wondering about this for some time. I click on a link and find a carbon copy.

Just wondering if they could do a lot more good if they direct their energies in a more moral fashion.

Good for you to stand your ground, Mrs. M.

Becky@FamilyandFinances February 22, 2008 at 9:45 am

Being so new to blogging, I’ve never heard of this. How did you find out it was happening? How did you find out what you could do about it?!

BeThisWay February 22, 2008 at 9:55 am

I’m glad you are doing something about it. I kept clicking on their link that showed up on my stats page to see the comments to your lawsuit post, thinking it was yours.

I find my content scraped constantly, and my words are often attributed to someone else. It’s just such a pita to fight.

mrsmicah February 22, 2008 at 10:11 am

Becky, you have the advantage of being on blogger. The way I find them is when they send trackbacks to my site…but blogger doesn’t accept trackbacks. They tend to only do that when putting up a partial post. They hope that’ll get around copyright infringement.

Something more annoying is that when a site steals my post, they include the links to other blogs. So if I linked to BeThisWay, for instance, she’d get a pingback from the scraper too.

I had asked some more experienced bloggers about it and they gave me the Google/DMCA advice.

Randall at CreditWithdrawal February 22, 2008 at 11:36 am

Yeah, I changed to copyright myself because of them (mainly they were hot-linking to my pictures, eating up my bandwidth, but still).

Just a FYI to all out there, you CAN get penalized by the big G (Google) for duplicate content. They can do lots of things like reduce PageRank, or muck with your SE results.

Do Not Anger the Big G!!

RacerX February 22, 2008 at 12:48 pm

Technorati is a good way to find srappers. Look at your “Blog Reactions” if you see your stuff under a different name- Scrapped! I check mine all the time to be careful.

zen March 18, 2008 at 11:09 am

Now, the interesting thing about scrapers is they can also BOOST your page ranking, because they present a paragraph of your content and a link to your site – however if they add a rel=”nofollow” tag, it means that google won’t follow that link to you, which means they won’t boost your page ranking.

I’m still trying to do some research with the blog scraping to make it so that if someone scrapes my blog, they’ll only help me (and get google to recognize my content as the original).

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